Generic Word Search Grid for Vocabulary Development

Generic Word Search Grid for Vocabulary Development
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The Generic Vocabulary Word Search is a grid of 17 blank squares in columns across and 12 squares in rows down. IT CAN BE USED IN ALMOST ANY CONTENT AREA: English, ELD, History, Math, and Science. You can use it for content-area vocabulary. It has space to put in 10 definitions beneath the word search grid.

Students can use the vocabulary words they have been studying to create a word search, which they will exchange with their fellow students. This gives them two opportunities to study their vocabulary: once when they make their own word search and again when they complete the word search given to them by a classmate.

Each student writes his or her definitions in the numbered spaces beneath the grid. After that, they create the word search by placing the actual vocabulary words that match the definitions in the grid spaces. Then, they add random letters to fill in the grid. Be sure to tell them that they must use PEN on their final draft, AND they must use neatly written CAPITAL LETTERS.

As the teacher, you decide how simple or complex the word search will be. By excluding or including backwards words, diagonal words, etc., providing a word bank or not, or by increasing or decreasing the number of words/definitions a student must use, the teacher can adjust the intensity of this activity.

This type of word search is NOT a mindless seek-a-word puzzle. The students must actually know the words that go with the definitions they are given.

For English, students can even write examples of figures of speech (e.g., metaphor, hyperbole, simile, personification) or sound devices (e.g., alliteration, rhyme, onomatopoeia) and the other students must identify which ones were used, then find the words, like metaphor or hyperbole, in the grid.

The Generic Word Search Grid is very versatile, so you can use it in any core class or elective, AND it is student-centered, since the students are creating the word searches for each other and then solving the puzzles. In the middle school environment, you could even have one class period exchange with another class period.

I'm sure you will find many uses for this Generic Word Search Grid. I've used it from 4th grade to 8th grade, with ELD students, Special Ed. students, gifted students, and everything in between. The level of rigor in the word search is based on the person creating it.

Good luck!
Mrs. A. Pakradouni


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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